Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Profile: Jacques Villeneuve

2015 marks the Year of Sport and the 60th anniversary of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In recognition of these important milestones, OLM will be featuring Honoured Members of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in a weekly Profile piece.

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame aims to share the stories and achievements of its Honoured Members to inspire Canadians in all aspects of life.

Jacques Villeneuve, Athlete, Auto Racing

After loosing his father tragically in a racing accident during the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix, Jacques Villeneuve was determined to follow his dad’s footsteps with a professional career in motorsport. Remaining courageous yet cautious, Villeneuve is an inspiration for others to stop at nothing.

Villeneuve was born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, to aspiring Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve. His uncle, Jacques Sr., was also a racing driver.

At the age of 15, Villeneuve enrolled in the Jim Russell Racing Driver’s School in Quebec – the same school his father had attended and where the young Canadian began to learn his craft under the direction of his uncle.

His racing career started at the age of 17. From 1989 to 1991 he drove on the Italian Formula Three (F3) racing circuit and then moved to racing F3 cars in Japan the following season. Overseas, he won three races and finished second in overall points standing. The next year brought him more victories on the Formula Atlantic racing circuit in North America. He placed first in five races and was recognized as Rookie of the Year.

Perhaps Villeneuve is most remembered for being the Indy 500 Winner in 1995, the Indy Car World Series Champion that same year and the Formula One World Champion in 1997.

After 11 years on the F1 circuit and before retiring in 2006, Villeneuve had won 11 races, recorded 23 podiums and claimed 13 pole positions. Having been born just 50 kilometres from the track, the racer refused to let anything stand in the way of his adventurous spirit. He remained determined to chase his dream and quench his thirst for adrenaline.

To learn more about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, visit